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We have an LG front loading washer that vibrates violently and walks when it goes into the spin cycle. Our house is wood framed, built in 1991, and our laundry room floor is vinyl.

We've had multiple service calls and while the inner drum was replaced, the last call verified there was nothing wrong with the washer itself. I've confirmed it's level and we've also tried turning on LG's SPINSENSE mode (recommended for use on wood floors or flooring with less support) and rubber feet - neither of which remedied the issue. We're basically down to low spin speed for everything and even still there is walking.

We're now at the point where we're exploring different options to reinforce the laundry room floor:

  1. Re-adhere the sub-floor from above with additional screws then replacing vinyl with ceramic tile
  2. Reinforce the floor from below with 4x6 beams going perpendicular to the main support joists

Before going any further with hiring a contractor, we were wondering if either (or both) of these options would resolve our issues. We've heard similar stories of front loaders walking in cement basements, so not sure if a stronger foundation is the solution, or if we should just go with a top loader.

Thoughts?

  • I'm not sure how reinforcing the floor would prevent the washer from walking? – Tester101 May 9 '16 at 2:57
  • On our last service call for the machine itself, the appliance guy mentioned this was a common problem with front loaders due to a "trampoline" effect caused by a floor that does not have enough support. Our floor bows under the washing machine so once it goes into the spin cycle the force almost causes the machine to hop. Not sure how much stock we should take in this assessment, but it was one of the reasons we were exploring the reinforce the floor option. – Tim Brennan May 9 '16 at 3:00
  • I think you'd be better off just getting a new washer that works properly. – whatsisname May 9 '16 at 3:26
  • So you've made sure all 4 feet are firmly on the floor? Is your wood floor actually springy or is this just a guess? With modern building codes and a fairly new house, that is really unlikely that your floors are springy. – Bulrush May 9 '16 at 9:52
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    If you think the floor is the problem try putting a 3/4" piece of plywood under the machine. If this additional thickness helps then maybe supporting the flooring and tile may help. I would think the washer would wiggle off tile quicker than vinyl. – Ed Beal May 9 '16 at 13:02
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this is a common problem and is most easily remedied by one of two approaches (and this is entirely assuming the unit is in good working order and the harmonic balancer is in good shape and balance)

1) restrain the unit - just mount angle iron or wood or whatever around the base to keep it from moving. just ensure that you have a thick foam pad or strip around the base where the appliance "rubs" the restraint frame. this will absorb some of the vibration and damp the transferred vibrational energy.

2) replace the leveling feet with urethane elastomer vibration dampers (sorbothane or some such product - these are not just rubber feet). they simply thread into the holes where the leveling feet were (just buy the right thread or some adapter to make it work). they come in many different heights, styles, etc. and though expensive, are far cheaper than reinforcing the floor or any such approach. see here for details:

http://www.mcmaster.com/#standard-vibration-damping-mounts/=12buqho

fyi - i have done this for many customers machines and have even used a set on the washer we owned before our current unit - it fixed the problem essentially instantaneously

  • Given we have tried the anti-vibration feet (style linked below), what is the additional benefit to the urethane elastomer vibration dampers? After briefly looking at the website, do these need to be mounted (i.e. bolted) to the floor, or do they simply rest on the floor much like the existing feet do. [link]amazon.com/SoftTouch-Washing-Machine-Anti-Vibration-pieces/dp/… – Tim Brennan May 9 '16 at 3:07
  • those amazon pads are just garbage. that style simply doesnt work because the machines just vibrate off of them. the units i suggested are fairly standard in industry for reducing vibration. typically, the foot is mounted to the floor and then the machine mounted to the foot, but thats not SOP with a washing machine. the type you need bolts to the machine where the current levelers are located and then rest on the floor. they have built in feet that look like they are made of tiny little suction cups to keep the unit from walking under running conditions. they work very well. – personal privacy advocate May 9 '16 at 3:33
  • Thanks for the additional detail, and you're correct about the Amazon pads - the machine did just vibrate right off them. These may be a good way to go before sinking a bunch of money into a structural fix or buying a new machine. I'll check out the website you mentioned in your original response and let you know how things go. Thanks again for the input! – Tim Brennan May 9 '16 at 11:36
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Before attempting any sort of repairs to the house, I would first try to verify if the issue is with the house or the machine.

Take the machine outside somewhere that you have a concrete pad (patio/driveway/etc). Make sure it is level and run a garden hose to the cold water. Then run it on cold without soap (so you don't have to deal with any sort of local waste draining laws) and see if it still hops/walks. Note that many washing machines won't drain properly if the drain hose doesn't go higher than the top of the unit (or at least the water level inside the unit) so you may have to rig up something ("A frame" ladder comes to mind if you have one) to hold the drain hose.

If the unit works fine on a concrete base then you very well might have a flooring issue. However, before I started ripping out the flooring in my house to reinforce the joists. I would try to reinforce on top of the existing flooring first. You might be able to get away with an extra, thick piece of plywood or even a thin steel plate

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